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Internet Mission Photography Collection at Digital Archives

The International Mission Photography Archive offers historical images from Protestant and Catholic missionary collections in Britain, Norway, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the United States. The photographs, which range in time from the middle of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century, offer a visual record of missionary activities and experiences in Africa, China, Madagascar, India, Papua-New Guinea, and the Caribbean.
September 25, 2007

The historical images in the International Mission Photography Archive come from Protestant and Catholic missionary collections held at a number of centers in Britain, Europe, and North America. The photographs record missionary endeavors and reflect the missionaries’ experience of communities and environments abroad. There are examples of the physical influence the mission presence brought –seen in churches and their surrounding settlements-- as well as examples of the cultural impact of mission teaching and Western influence, including schools, hospitals, training programs, Christian practices, and Western technology and fashions. The pictures document indigenous peoples' responses to missions and the history of indigenous churches which are often now a major force in society. They also offer views of traditional culture, landscapes, cities, and towns before and in the early stages of modern development.

The same cataloging procedures were used for all of the collections. Depending on the research goals, therefore, a person who uses the web site will be able to search through the images provided by one, several, or all of the collections, structuring the search and sorting the results according to the categories, descriptors, and keywords under which the images were cataloged as they were added to the database. Not all pictures will be accompanied by the same depth of documentation, but the goal is to include an original caption, the photographer’s name, and the time, place, occasion, and subject of the picture. Any other information that is available, including textual descriptions, has also been incorporated, making it possible to employ more refined descriptive and thematic searches. Although the language of the website is English, some descriptive information on the photographs is entered in the original language, so that searching on Norwegian or German terms can also yield useful results.
3305 South Hoover
UVI-A MC7002
Los Angeles, CA 90007

For Questions or Further Information Regarding the Collection:
USC Digital Library
3434 South Grand Avenue
CAL 207 MC 2810
Los Angeles CA 90089-2810

Tel: (213) 740-8832

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